A Few Facebook Friends To Delete

John noticed that his spirit had been a bit negative and even critical in recent days. He wondered if, perhaps, Facebook was having too much influence on him. He decided he might need to reduce the number of people he was friends with on Facebook. What could it hurt if he went through to see if maybe there were some friends he had on Facebook that did not belong there anymore. Sure enough, as John scrolled through the list, he discovered that there were some Facebook friends who needed to be “unfriended.”

Here are some of the people he decided that he should delete.

  • Ahab – John read some of Ahab’s posts and noticed that he had a personal vendetta against a man named Naboth. He made all kinds of accusations about Naboth on his page. John decided that he did not need to read these accusations, so he deleted Ahab from his Facebook friends.
  • Jezebel – Hmmm. He should have noticed that she was big in “Do Right” slander groups. She loved to post threats against the man of God. John did not want to be associated with someone like that, so he deleted Jezebel from his Facebook friends.
  • Potiphar’s wife – Now THAT was embarrassing. John did not even remember accepting her friend request. He never would have done so if he had noticed her seductive profile picture. Why does she keep going on and on about that coat? Deleting Potiphar’s wife from his Facebook friends was an easy decision.
  • Shimei – Now, Shimei was not really slandering as far as making accusations are concerned, but he always was throwing insults toward someone he did not like. It seemed that every time he posted he had to hurl a stone of criticism toward someone named David. John did not really need to read these underhanded remarks, so he “unfriended” Shimei.
  • Judas – Judas seemed like a nice guy who claimed to be a follower of Christ. He always was talking about money, though. Every time he posted, it was about materialistic things. He may not be a bad guy, but John wanted to keep his mind on eternal things not temporal things. He thought it was better to delete Judas from his Facebook friends because John did not want that type of influence on him.
  • Saul – This particular friend had a tendency to attack God’s anointed ones. John detected a bit of envy in Saul. His posts were always tearing down others in order to build up himself. John decided it would be best if he did not keep Saul as one of his Facebook friends. He did not want any part of lifting up his hand against God’s anointed.
  • Ahithophel – Ahithophel was a friend of one of John’s closest friends. Something happened, and he became the enemy of John’s friend. He noticed his tone changing in posts about John’s friend. John felt that Ahithophel was affecting his spirit, so he decided to remove him from his friends list.
  • Diotrephes – Diotrephes appeared to be quite a big shot in his church, but all he did was find fault and criticize in his posts. He did not like the way the preacher preached. He did not like the way the money was being spent. It seemed as though he did not like anything about his church. Diotrephes had no problem letting it be known on his Facebook page. John was sure he needed to “unfriend” him.
  • Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad – John “unfriended” these three because they were so negative toward everyone else. They found something wrong with every Christian who was going through a difficulty. Rather than encouraging others, they seemed to be judging them. John wanted to be a help to others. Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad are no longer John’s Facebook friends. He did not need to develop a critical nature.
  • Alexander the coppersmith – Alexander had made Paul his personal object for destruction. He was a hateful man! He seemed a bit obsessed with Paul. He would post anything that could hurt Paul. He even posted lies about him. Alexander was not the type of friend John wanted.
  • Absalom – Absalom was a rebel. He liked to post criticism of authority that would turn others away from their leaders to follow him instead. He even criticized his own father online. He did so in such a manner that it made him look good. John saw that Absalom was not the friend to help him do right.
  • The serpent – The serpent posted questions to start an argument. He enjoyed making people doubt the truth by asking questions about what was really said or meant. He posted things to make him look smarter than God. John blocked him.

The number of people who use social media, a.k.a. Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter to perpetuate Satan’s messages is alarming. Most of them probably do not realize just how much Satan has manipulated them. As Christians, we need to decide to apply biblical principles as to whom we allow as friends on our social media accounts. It is not enough that we were classmates or that we grew up together. It is not enough that they are family friends or even blood relatives.

We must decide that Philippians 4:8 will be our guide in determining our “friends.”

  1. Have friends who tell the truth. Truth is not hearsay. The truth is the truth. Too much speculation and retelling of gossip gets posted on people’s social media sites. We should distance ourselves from those who would spread what they have heard and not what they know to be true. People who like to tell part of the story or embellish the truth in order to hurt someone else are people we do not need influencing us on social media.
  2. Have friends who are just. There is nothing more unjust than trying to mete out justice through social media. People who carry out their vengeance in the name of justice online need not be our friends.
  3. Have friends who are Pure. Purity is not the absence of impurity. Purity is the presence of righteousness. We do not need someone’s shady or inappropriate postings or postings that do not perpetuate good things. Talking about other people’s sins does not help our minds stay pure.
  4. Have friends who are lovely. All of our friends may not be pretty, but they should be lovely. We might need to go to I Corinthians 13 to fully understand what the word lovely A lovely person is someone who does what he does because of love not hate. Someone who posts hateful things is not lovely. Hateful people are not good friends to have on social media.
  5. Have friends who are promoting a good report. Some people are merchants of bad news. They love to talk about the sins of other Christians, the falls of preachers, the failures of leaders, or anything else that is bad news. We are not told to go into all the world and spread the bad news. We are told to spread the Gospel. Choose friends who perpetuate good news or, in other words, the Gospel.
  6. Have friends who recognize virtue. The kind of friends we want on social media are those who are looking to do and to speak right in order to edify other Christians. We should want friends who want to use social media for the good it can do, not the damage it can cause.
  7. Have friends who promote good. There are plenty of negative people posting all over social media. We should want friends who are uplifting and whose posts lift up the name of Jesus and bring honor and glory to Him. We do not glorify God by tearing down others. We glorify God by lifting up Jesus.

Social media has quite an effect on each one of us. Perhaps, it is time for us to be like John and check out our list of friends on social media. If they do not meet the criteria of Philippians 4:8, then maybe we should do some serious “unfriending.”

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by pastor greg neal

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